Sunday, August 7, 2011

AT Thru Hiker Answers

Here are the answers to the questions that EVERYONE I met who isn't a hiker asks. See if you can figure out the questions!

1. 2181 miles
2. Georgia to Maine
3. Saw a bear once, it ran away
4. 15 to 25 miles a day
5. 4 to 6 months
6. Mac n cheese, ramen, snickers
7. Stop in towns every 3-4 days to shower and buy more food
8. 25 to 45 lbs
9. A hole in the ground, or a privy
10. No gun
11. Saw snakes, didn't get bit
12. No job, no school, no problem
Can I go now?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

More pics to come

To satisfy you for now...

Thank you!

I want to give a big thank you to all you readers who believed in my dream. Your love and support and prayers helped me through the hike and I truly appreciate all the texts and comments and emails. I'll be mailing out thank you picture cards, so if I don't have your address and you want one, email it to me!

The finale

7/30- after a huuuge delicious breakfast at Shaws, I hiked out of Monson. It was quite entertaining to meet all the section hikers who were trying to hike the 100 mile Wilderness. They had huge packs, huge tummys, and were quite discouraged they were having trouble meeting their 15 mile first day goal. I tried to encourage them, saying my first day was 8 miles, but wondered how many would make it. I arrived at the Long Pond Stream shelter and shortly after, my parents hiked in. I set up their tent, and hiked the mike out to their car to carry in Gatorades and PBRs. Kelsey and Kyle were in the parking lot! We hiked into the shelter together and after they set up their tent, we shared some PBRs with the only hikers. I hide a few PBRs behind the privy for my friends who were a day behind me too.

7/31- after saying goodbye, I climbed Barren Mnt (and climbed the sketchy fire tower). I forded a few rivers and hiked near Gulf Hagas ( where there was a cooler of sodas and whoopie pies from the Pine Family!) After 20 miles, I arrived at the Carl Newhall shelter for the night.

8/1- Climbed up White Cap Mnt and got a glimpse of Katahdin! I stopped at the Copper Shelter, where TBone (another hiker who I had trail magiced in the past) gave me some food (since I was getting really low!) I went swimming in the creek out front before pushing on. A bit after I left, I started hearing thunder. Major thunder. I started hiking faster, and the trail was pretty flat, so I made it the 8 miles to Antlers Campsite in 2 hours! I set up my tent when it was sprinkling and enjoyed watching the lightning over the lake. There was a family of loons that sang beautifully at night and the next morning.

8/2- I woke up early since I was still low on food and wanted to get to Whitehouse Landing to resupply. Whitehouse Landing is the only place to resupply in the 100 mile Wilderness. Hikers must hike 1mile off the trail, blow an airhorn, and get picked up by a boat and take across the lake to a camp where you can order a burger or buy supplies. Before I left Antlers, a SOBO section hiker told me he was getting off the trail and gave me all his food! So I didn't end up going to Whitehouse Landing afterall. I went 21 easy miles, through some thunderstorms, and stayed at Rainbow Stream shelter with some section bikers who gave me more food! By now, I hadn't seen a northbound thru hikers for days and wondered if I would be summiting Katahdin alone!

8/3- my last full day on the AT. I had to go 25 miles to get to the base of Katahdin. I was making good time so I stopped at Rainbow Lake and went swimming (and shaved my legs). Atop Rainbow Ledges, I stopped and picked some blueberries. The end of the 100 mile Wilderness brings hikers out to a campground so naturally, I spent an hour eating everything I could get m hands on: burger, bag of chips, whoopie pie, and two ice creams. I then entered Baxter Park and forded the same deep rushing river twice...(first onto an island where the trail went for a mile, then back across the river to the mainland, weird I know...) other than that, the 10 miles to Katahdin Stream Campground where easily and beautiful. I made it to The Birches, a shelter for thru hikers by 6 pm. Earl Grey, Mammoth, Fig and Duck were there and we enjoyed beers around a campfire.

8/4- I woke up, and the other hikers left up Katahdin while I waited for my parents. They arrived and it started raining, so I decided to wait a day when the weather would be better and my other friends I spent the night with at Sugarloaf would be there to summit with me. My parents and I hiked a mile down the AT to Big and Little Niagra Falls and let some trail magic, then spent the night in Millinocket.

8/5- woke up at 4:30 and drove into the park. At The Birches I woke up my friends and told them I'd see them up the trail. My parents and I started hiking up Katahdin at 7, and a bit later, the groups of 8 boys caught up. I told my parents goodbye and ran up the rest of the trail. After crawling up rebar and boulders on all fours, we took a break and waited for Sun Spirit who's dad was slowing her down a bit. They caught up and all 10 of us summited together. After lots of pictures, I convinced Moose to hike down Knife Edge with me. His 11 year old little brother joined us and we had some spectacular views. My parents were waiting at the bottom (they turned around when they saw the rebar) and we went to the AT Cafe- home of the Summit Sundae. 14 scoops of ice cream, a snickers, muffin, M&Ms, banana, whipped cream and cherries. Successful eaters receive a t shirt, the bowl it came in, bumper sticker, and get their name on the wall. Moose and I tried, and after 2 hours and 20 minutes I gave up. By then it was 8:30 pm and I felt horrible, so we went back to the hotel in Millinocket for the night.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My spot is broken so don't bother checking. Will be on katahdin thursday!
51 miles left! Tenting in this awesome storm at the Antlers campsite.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Into the 100 mile Wilderness.....

I'm in Monson tonight with my parents, into the 100 mile Wilderness tomorrow! Should be summitting Katahdin Aug 4th if anyone wants to come! 114 miles to go =)

7-20 Went 21.4 miles and crossed into Maine!
7-21 Woke up and scrambled through Mahoosic Notch. It was really neat climbing through rock boulders, but slow going. The books describes it as, "the most difficult, or most fun mile?" I went 15 miles and stayed at Frye Notch Shelter with some SOBOs.
7-22 Went 15 miles to Andover where my parents met me. We went to Bethel for dinner at the pub.
7-23 I slackpacked 13 miles, saw a moose, and Mom and Dad were waiting with lunch trail magic! After feeding a few hikers, including myself, I went another 13 miles until Rangley. Steve Pasquine made the journey out and saw a few moose too!

7-24 Left town at noon, and went 12 miles over Saddleback (gorgeous!) and tented with Dreamwalker, and a team called MTFKS: Smurf, Yogi, Baby, Mango, and Clifford. Passed the Piazza Rock shelter, famous for it's two person privy with a cribbage board in between.......yuck haha

7-25 19 miles into the town of Stratton. Took the 0.5 side trail up to the summit of Sugarloaf and it was a gorgeous clear day.  MTFKS invited me to stay at their friend's place at Sugarlaof, so we had a fun night with wine and a hot tub!

                                                                 View from Sugarloaf

7-26 Lounged around the house in Sugarloaf, and set out at 4pm, so I only went 5 miles and stayed at Horns Pond Shelter on top of Bigelow Mt. It started raining, and there was a beautiful double rainbow.

7-27 Went 27.5 miles and passed the 2000 mile mark! WOO HOO! I stayed at Pierce Pond Shelter with Calf and Silver Fox. What a gorgeous shelter! Right on the lake!

7-28 Hiked 0.3 off the trail to Tim Harrison's Cabins, where he prepared his famous 12 pancake breakfast! YUM. I had 14, because a SOBO didn't have his appetite yet, and couldn't eat all his. With a full bellly, I hiked 3 more miles where I rode the ferry across the Kennebec River. Wild Man Dan paddled me across in his canoe! I went 19 more miles and stayed at Moxie Bald Shelter with Calf. I really wanted to go swimming, and just as I was about to dip in, I saw a huge leech! I thought twice, then jumped in anyways =)

7-29 Woke up at 5, and practically ran into Monson. I did 19 miles in 7 hours, including switching shoes twice to ford two rivers. I got trail magic from Strider....mmmm...Mountain Dew. My parents showed up and we drove down some back roads and hiked into the shelter I'll be staying at tomorrow and dropped off some gatorades to other hikers there. My parents are going to hike in and meet me there and spend the night with me! As well as my best friend Kelsey and her boyfriend Kyle!

I'm looking forward to breakfast at Shaw's tomorrow, and Gulf Hagas Sunday! Monday I will hike a bit off the trail and take a boat ride to Whitehouse Landing, where I can eat a burger, and buy more food if I need to. Base of Katahdin Wednesday night, and up Hunt trail Thursday! Watch my Spot!


Go-to trail snack: Oats n Honey granola bars
Favorite Town Food (most missed food): cereal and milk, milkshakes
Best Trail Name: Crop Duster
Worst trail name: Jesus Christ Superstar
Favorite Trail Town: Stroudsburg, next to Delaware Water Gap
Best trail magic from strangers: Bev and Joe in Boiling Springs
Place I'd like to revisit: the Smokeys
Song stuck in my head: Wagon Wheel
Song that sums up my hike: Take me home, country roads
Favorite luxury item in my pack: swimsuit!
Favorite necessary item in my pack: Katadyn water filter
Item in my pack that was first to be mailed home: gators
Biggest disappointment: Shenandoahs- flat with no views and crossed the road eight times a day
Biggest pleasant surprise: the rocks of PA aren't that bad
Cool animals: bears, moose, porcupine, woodpeckers, deer
Hottest/coldest weather: 105 in VA/ 20 in the Smokeys
Most missed luxury: sleeping in a bed
First thing to do when I'm finished: eat sushi!